We’re excited to announce that our VR Sculpting tool, Oculus Medium, is releasing a 2.3 update and will be available for free when you activate your new Touch controllers for Rift S on May 21! With a slick refreshed design, new modes to the beloved Move tool, and modernization of the precision and hard-surface features, Medium continues to lead the field in VR creation tools. We can’t wait for more people to get hands-on when Rift S ships.
Since Medium’s first announcement at Oculus Connect 2, we’ve rolled out 19 successive updates to make Medium even better, from patches to big releases. Medium 2.0 brought a major UI facelift, file management, scene graph, snapping, increased layers, and more. We’ve squashed bugs, introduced new features, and made improvements in response to community feedback!
With every update, we've seen our creator community grow. We’re thankful for your enthusiasm in showing your art, experimenting with new techniques and workflows, and pioneering creation in VR. We’re especially grateful to the Oculus Medium Artist Council—a group of more than 120 highly-esteemed professional artists from the film and games industries— and our small group of beta testers, who have provided phenomenal feedback and helped guide our development to make Medium a state-of-the-art professional art tool.
To support Rift S and in response to our community’s requests for a more streamlined look, we’ve revamped our controller and tool models with Medium 2.3! This redesign should work smoothly for both existing Rift owners and new Rift S owners.
We’re also revitalizing our world environment with themes, new groundplane and skybox, and IBL lighting cubemaps. New colored workspace themes, including Classic, Dark, Neutral, and Cute, will let you customize your virtual work environment. You can even adjust your lighting through atmospheric IBL lighting and textures. With these improvements, we’ve maintained simple environment editing so you can continue to focus on your sculpts.
“For Medium’s new look and feel, we sought to unify color and form throughout the app, while giving people more control over their sculpting environment,” says Oculus Medium Art Director Tommy Cinquegrano. “To fully take advantage of the higher resolution Rift S display, we utilized higher resolutions textures in a more targeted manner, stripping away excess detail on the tool meshes and throughout the sculpting environment.”
For precision and hard-surface modeling, we’re adding new features to give 3D modelers powerful and precise design tools. With a new grid system, including grid visualization and customization, creators will be able to design environments, architecture, vehicles, and more to exact measurements in metric units.
This grid visualization for the X/Y/Z planes is lightweight and meticulously constructed for in-VR comfort, with a fade at the horizon, a fade at the eyes, and a saturation adjustment based on the quadrant.
“One of the unique advantages of developing in VR is the ability for the artist to see their work with 3D perspective, but it’s a double-edged sword in that it’s impossible to utilize the 2D-oriented orthographic views that you might see in other modeling packages,” notes Software Engineer Duncan Keller. “The grid is designed as a way to make up for these deficiencies inside of a 3D environment and enable new VR-first workflows for precision and alignment.”
By popular demand, we’re adding a constrained manipulation to the mirror plane. This new feature is a major enhancement for moving quickly between scene editing and sculpting. Scene nodes can be aligned and locked to the mirror plane so you won’t accidentally break symmetry.
The beloved Move Tool lets you move, twist, and stretch virtual clay—and it’s getting two new modes: Cube Move and Capsule Move. Artists can easily translate, rotate, and scale with their hands, allowing them to stay focused on the creation process while avoiding cumbersome modes or keyboard shortcuts.
Our community adores the Move tool and has asked for additional volume shapes for mesh deformation. With the new Cube and Capsule Move modes, you’ll get unprecedented methods to create volume, pull geometry, and shape organics.
For faster pipeline work, we’re supporting our dev users with export presets! In addition to exporting OBJ and FBX through our decimator, devs will be able to select one of three presets: Raw, Real-Time, and 3D Print. These presets will allow for more efficient customization and output. Devs will also be able to add custom export settings that persist across sessions!
“To use the work you’ve created in Medium in other software, you first need to export it—but each different software package requires its own special set of export parameters,” explains Software Engineer Joe Virskus. “To streamline this, we’ve added export presets for the most common use cases: Optimized, textured exports for real-time 3D game engines; raw, high-detail exports for use in other 3d modeling packages; and a format optimized for 3D printing.”
Mesh editing is becoming more powerful than ever before with VR creation tools like Medium. Since our launch in December 2016, we’ve hosted and co-sponsored 11 contests to inspire your work. We’ve filmed nine documentaries including developer spotlights and artist interviews, and we’ve participated in 25 events across nine countries, including 16 VR Sculpting Workshops, one Game Jam, and three VR Sculpting Battles. We can’t wait to see what you create with this update.
Medium 2.3 will be available for Rift and Rift S on May 21. Download it for free with activation of your new Touch controllers here!
— The Oculus Team